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[curator]kaplan@archive.org[/curator][date]20150316144319[/date]

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Washington 22, Jeff Bezos 11, Us 10, U.s. 8, Dennis Johnson 6, Bob Mcchesney 6, Cia 5, Amazon 5, Washington Post 5, Pentagon 4, Rage-inducing 4, Melville 3, Amy Goodman 3, Tunisia 3, Jeff Cohen 3, America 3, Bob Woodward 2, United States 2, Anderson Cooper 2, Obama 2,
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  LINKTV    Democracy Now    News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news  
   headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports....  

    August 7, 2013
    8:00 - 9:01am PDT  

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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! now we are facing in our situation where there is no way for commercial interests to make money with journalism. and may be able to do it in the business and largest markets, but the notion of popular journalism as natural, and that is no longer in existence. >> amazon.com founder jeff
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bezos purchases the washington post. year, amazon inked a $600 million cloud computing deal with the cia. now the founder owns the most important newspaper in washington. we will speak to media critics as well as book publisher dennis johnson. >> in the view of american publishers, they are a threat. they have been discounting books so severely they have done great damage to the markets and publishers have been really struggling as to how to control that. >> we will also speak to mother jones reporter mac mcclelland, author of "i was a warehouse
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wage slave: my brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine." welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. yemeni officials claim to have foiled a plot to blow up key oil locations. officials say the motives of the planned attack appears to be retaliation for the u.s. killing a deputyal-shihri, health today in the arabian peninsula. a military jet has reduced the maximum possible prison sentence
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for army whistleblower bradley manning to 90 years. forad faced up to 136 years leaking troves of secret documents to wikileaks. toise lind allowing them merge a number of accounts against him. bradley manning's father has spoken out in an interview with anderson cooper. he says he believes his son is innocent and cannot understand how the leaks were logistically possible and that he was carrytanding in order to out his actions. anderson cooper pross question about what he would say to his son. right off tell him the bat, he had no excuse for allegedly releasing that information.
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fathom any reason to myself why he should be -- that i should forgive him for doing something like that. that is my code of honor. >> is there any message you want to get across to him? like in quantico, but just before i ended the visit, --is always, i love the sun i love youson. then he would say i love you, dad. >> anonymous officials say militia leader ahmed abu khattala is facing charges for the attack in benghazi. no one has so far been arrested. the pentagon official in charge of guantanamo bay, who played a
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key role in creating the prison is now saying it should never have been built. in an interview with the british and daily mail newspaper, william lietzau said that they should be have -- should have been designated as prisoners of war. he says the most effective way to close the prison now is to announce an end to the so-called war with al qaeda. he said -- lietzau announced he will be stepping down from the pentagon to take a job with a military contractor, bae. in egypt, one person was injured -- one person died and others injured during a protest about mohamed morsi in alexandria.
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his comments followed a visit paul when a visit from u.s. congressmember's, urging for a dialogue on egypt's future. john mccain said that he believes the ousting was a coup. democratic the aspirations and criticisms of the government that led millions into the streets on june 30. theave also said circumstances of the former government's president's removal was a coup. we have said that we cannot expect egypt or any other country to abide by its laws if we do not abide by hours in the united states. the u.s. army psychiatrist accused of shooting and killing 13 people at a military base in texas said that his trial would show that he was the shooter.
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--or the dollar hassan, who is representing spoke in court. the prosecution said that he had hoped to kill as many soldiers as he could. they are pursuing the death penalty. in two major, thousands flocked to the capital city of tunis for .emonstrations to the chef has been embroiled in a political crisis in the past two weeks following the shooting of another opposition leader who was killed on july 25. on tuesday, the assembly suspended effective these indefinitely pending a dialogue
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between the two sides. an anti-government demonstrator spoke out on friday. because the situation in tunisia is critical. the government is devouring the people. we ask for the government to be overthrown and we ask for a national constituent assembly to dissolved and to start a new government. every student is asked to watch tunisia and protect it. we have to put an end to violence. we have witnessed three political assassinations. we have also witnessed the attack on our national military. eight shoulders -- soldiers were assassinated. we need to stay united for tunisia. the law requires prior
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authorization from police for political meetings involving three or more people and allows the use of force to clear unauthorized gatherings. the bill passed despite protests and attempts to block it by members of the ugandan government. ofcomes amidst a crackdown the previous president. president obama delivered his latest address on the economy tuesday claiming a recovery in the housing market and calling for private lenders to form the backbone of the market while the government plays a more limited role. speaking in phoenix, ariz., he backed a plan to end the firms fannie mae and freddie mac in the effort to avoid another crisis. >> one thing we can do to make sure this doesn't happen again is to wind down these companies that are not really government but private-sector. they are known as freddie mac
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and fannie mae. for too long, these companies were allowed to make huge profits, buying mortgages, knowing that if their bets when that, taxpayers would be left holding the bag. was a heads we win, tails you lose. it was wrong. along with what happened on wealth -- wall street, it help to inflate this bubble. the justice department sued bank of america, accusing that it willfully defrauding investors. report from the national oceanic atmospheric administration says last year was among the 10 warmest on record around the world. full degree were in higher than the previous record, more than three degrees higher
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than the 20th century average. another study found the earth's climate is currently changing at a rate far faster than any therepoint in the pasion arwit, could be an annual raise in temperature of 6 to 9 degrees. parts of china are seeing their most severe heat wave in at least 140 years. dozens have died as temperatures have hovered around 104 degrees. the heat has caused glass to crack, roads to warp, and a highway billboard to catch fire. two activists who advocated for the rights of farmers have been found shot dead. the murdered activists were part of the agrarian league. a third member is missing.
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victims include environmentalists murdered last week, and an indigenous rights activist killed last month. the department of homeland security has tentatively approved an asylum upon request from a group of immigrants known as the dream 9, which challenged the immigration policy by attempting to cross the border from mexico. officials claim that they have a fear of persecution if returned to mexico. most had been forced to leave the united states under current policies, but three left voluntarily to accompany the others. an immigration judge will determine their final status. they remain in detention in arizona. police in rural pennsylvania say a man whose home had recently been condemned by law allow authorities opened fire on a municipal meeting monday night,
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killing three people and wounding a number of others. authorities say he fatally shot a zoning official and two residents before suffering a gunshot wound after a bystander tackled him. newell is in police custody. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. shaikh.nermeen welcome to our listeners and viewers around the country and world. we begin the show with a roundtable discussion about the sale of one of the nation's leading newspapers to one of the world's richest men. on monday, the washington post announced the paper had been purchased by amazon.com founder and ceo jeff bezos. he will pay $250 million for the paper and a number of other publications, less than 1% of his wealth.
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of the chiefiend executive of the washington post company, whose family has owned the paper for eight decades. bezos said management would remain the same but it is unclear what changes might be coming. last year, he was quoted in an interview with a german newspaper saying -- >> critics of the sale have cited bezos' close ties to the government. in 2010, amazon pulled the plug on hosting the wikileaks web site. earlier this year, amazon inked a $600 million cloud computing contract with the cia. we are joined by bob mcchesney,
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author of several books on media and politics, including "digital disconnect: how capitalism is turning the internet against democracy." you can read the first chapter at our website, democracynow.org. he also recently co-authored with john nichols, "dollarocracy: how the money and media election complex is destroying america." us, theen is with director for park center media at ithaca college, where he is also professor of media. here in new york city, dennis johnson is with us, " publisher of melvillender house. he recently wrote a book about amazon. your response to the news that has rocked the industry, that jeff bezos is the new owner of the washington post? >> what is important is to have
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a structural understanding and content -- contact for this purchase. the value of the washington post, like all other news media in the country, has plummeted in the past couple of years to of what they were. at this point, they are not wise commercial investments. earlier,owed commercial journalism is no longer profitable, but they still have great political value. it might not be a commercially viable undertaking, but it still has tremendous political power. if we understand it that way, that is the appeal of these legacy for many newspapers like the washington post, chicago tribune, boston globe. it will not make the money in the short term on that investment, but it gives them political power to advance their political agenda. for someone like jeff bezos, it
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could give him a great deal of money down the road. >> could you respond about this purchase and to what bob mcchesney said about how the value has been declining for several consecutive years, and talk about why jeff bezos may have made the purchase? he talks about being a luxury item, printed newspapers, i have a good sense that jeff bezos' washington post will not remain a luxury item around capitol hill. it may go on line, but it will stay around capitol hill because he wants that kind of influence in the nation's capital. bezos'been reading about politics, which is important when you are reducing your owner of a paper as important as "the washington post," ich ged us
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to get into the invasion of iraq in ticket ago. bezos is like other corporate executives, liberal on social policy, gave money to the pro- gay marriage initiative, but very conservative on economic policies that affect the corporations that made him wealthy and powerful. so we learn about bezos, he has donated money to the initiative in the state of washington, and big money, that was trying to institute an income tax on the top 1% of people in the state of washington. was supported by bill gates of microsoft. bezos was one of the millionaire that put money into stopping that. he is conservative on labor policy. we know what a bad neighbor policy amazon has. the biggest issue facing american journalism in the last month or so has been the surveillance state, and the
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corporation that profit from the surveillance state. 70% of the intelligence agency's budget that comes from the taxpayers is delivered to private contractors. as you mentioned, amazon just brought down a huge cia contract to provide clout services. we know that they want more contracts. >> dennis johnson of melville house, as a publisher, what are your feelings about amazon, your thoughts about jeff bezos buying the washington post? publisherings as a are the same as an american, a tough company to deal with, who has developed a whole new model for the marketplace of ideas. something to contribute to what the previous two speakers talked about, amazon, since its
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inception, has avoided collecting sales tax, not only in the u.s., but across the world. s a retailer, they are foeverything sold on theirtaxes website. they have not done that since their inception. originally founded the company on an indian reservation because he thought that he would have to deal less with taxes. it is kind of a sham, the other day, president obama went to speak at the warehouse in chattanooga, tenn., which is the one that they opened in order to cut a deal with the states to not pay taxes for another year. they have not paid taxes in tennessee to date would have promised to employ 2000 people. those are the jobs that obama
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was celebrating. this is a very damaging policy for a company to have. they are also being contested in the u.k. and elsewhere in europe for similar policies. the other thing is that they are a company that feels no pain. as far as i can tell, they never made money. their sales are up astronomically, they made millions, but their losses are also up. a phenomenal track record. in the retail market, how do you compete with that? in the book business, how do the small companies compete with a company that can simply lose money like this? simply, they cannot. so when he takes over the washington post and you wonder if he will make it profitable, he probably does not care. that is not what it is about. he does have $20 billion.
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>> personally, yes, one of the wealthiest men in the country, if not the world. but the company, quarter after quarter, does not post a profit. >> in his letter to employees after purchasing the washington post, he seemed to address any potential conflict of interest, saying -- many people have pointed out that amazon ranks as some of the biggest spenders for high- technology companies seeking to influence the federal government. dennis johnson, could you talk about the politics of what amazon's lobbying efforts have been, and if this will influence the post under bezos? >> this is a very transparent move to make. this is a man that has growing
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interest in washington. we just concluded the department of justice prosecution of the book industry, a shocking case that seems to fly in the face of what we know about antitrust law in this country. most in the book business feel that it was orchestrated by amazon, and indeed, they did file the initial complaint. when they won, most in the book industry -- we thought amazon was a monopoly to begin with, now we feel like it is a government-sanctioned monopoly. days after the decision comes down, the president goes to their warehouse to slap them on the back and say good job. >> now that we have this new information, do you think president obama knew that he would be by the washington post when he went down last week? post,eporters at the everyone seemed shocked. >> it was a well-kept secret,
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but other reports say that the deal was probably cut a month ago. >> given the amount of information the nsa gathers on us, hard to believe that he did the know. what happened, the president was down there lauding a company that he said would reduce the middle-class, $11 an hour on average, they do not meet the living wage, they have tax avoidance. breakare going to go to off and then come back. we are speaking to dennis johnson of melville house. it at the college is also with us. now!is democracy we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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>> "it says here" by billy bragg. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. we are having a roundtable discussion of that jeff bezos purchasing the washington post. dennis johnson is with us from of the house. mac mcclelland is also with us. read an article about jeff bezos written by someone from the columbia school of journalism. she wrote --
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interesting questions, and jeff cohen. >> these are all good questions. the one thing that is missing is the discretion of the hallowed journalistic traditions of the washington post. any media consumer who has been looking at the articles in the last day and half has heard about what will happen to the washington post journalistic tradition. the paper of watergate. the paper that exposed watergate, published the pentagon papers. serious and diligent news consumer will realize coming incidents like the watergate conspiracy and the pentagon papers, that was 40 years ago. the hallowed tradition of the
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washington post we are worried that bezos will ruin, -- and we do not know if it will get worse, it may not -- but that tradition, the washington post has really been a newspaper of the bipartisan consensus. in nations like iraq could hardly have happened without the editorial pages headed by a hawk, fred hiatt, who is still hise today, and in editorial pages before the iraq invasion, more than two dozen editorials urging the invasion. skeptics were merciless the savaged in the editorial pages, but they were not allowed to speak for themselves. so when i hear people talk about the washington post under the grant family, the paper of watergate, it reminds me of people who look at barack obama
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and say that he is the community organizer embedded with the poor in chicago. the washington post we should be thinking about in the last 10, 12 years has been a very important instrument of u.s. intervention, imperial foreign- policy at the hands of the editorial page editor fred hiatt. >> just to read part of the editorial from february 2003 that ran the day after the iraq presentation to the united nations by colin powell, "irrefutable." it read -- >> and on the washington post op-ed page in the next two days, endorsingmnist was
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colon paul's speech and invasion of iraq. that has been par for the course over there for the last 20 years. >> you mention the pentagon papers and watergate. reporters say they are optimistic about the sale to jeff bezos. bob woodward said -- bernstein also said he had high hopes for bezos, saying -- jeff cohen, could you respond to that deco >> he might be innovative and he does have deep
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pockets, and if i was a journalist, i would want someone with deep pockets, as opposed to the grant family who has been bleeding money, but the reality is, as you pointed out, one of the big issues is the surveillance state. amazon, the company that has made this individual so wealthy, is so embedded with the surveillance state. i would be concerned. bob woodward, 40 years ago he unraveled a conspiracy and brought down a president. in the last 10 years, he has been very cozy with american presidents, republican or democrat. >> bob mcchesney, your response? >> it is absurd where we are at a point where journalism in this country is dying, being taken over by a commercial enterprise. we should stand back and understand how ridiculous the
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situation is, that we are reduced to this pathetic state of affairs. we need real journalism, journalism that tells us about war plans, the nsa, long before it becomes too late or deep into the game. we are not getting that now and there is no reason to think that we will get that. it is worth noting, we have a system like the one that we have now 100 years ago. 1915, it hadand grown incredibly concentrated except for in larger cities. the bosses of that era use their power to aggressively promote their politics through generally right wing anti-labor politics. there was a great crisis of journalism that led to the creation of professional journalism. the idea that editorial content should not be influenced by the advertisers.
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is even less accountability now than there was then. we would have reports across the great cities, but today we do not have that. it is a place where these billionaires can promote their own politics. and you have to understand, it is not like jeff bezos needs to march into a newsroom and say, cover this, cover that. you basically said an organizational culture, and smart journalists who want to survive internalize the values, and those who do not, get out of the way. aree koch's sney, interested in acquiring a number of titles. this is when you have these days. you have the koch brothers, you
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also have warren buffett. last year, berkshire hathaway bought 28 daily newspapers for $344 million. this is how it operates in the the the state's right now. so then compared jeff bezos to owned this who have paper for decades. at a situationng where we have these odor that have made these investments. >> and you cannot forget bloomberg, one of the largest media companies, employing 2300 professionals in 146 bureaus around the world. i am sure it employs many more than that. nichols and i outlined a number of people like the " brothers, shall not -- sheldon adelson, and others who are spending millions of dollars to
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buy a elections, oftentimes anonymously and surreptitiously through dark money. it makes perfect sense that they would want to buy of newspapers as a political investment. they are so cheap now and you can dominate the discussion and frame the issues your way and talk about what you think is important. it is a wise political investment. for those concerned about democratic theory, it is antiradical to what this country needs. a pillar of our constitutional system becomes a plaything for billionaires and there is no accountability. our governing system cannot work properly accept as a plaything for the rich. >> you have spoken about your concerns with amazon as a company, labor practices, tax evasion, and so on. could you say what you think bezos' will be now, and what has
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been happening in the amazon, and how they met -- that may influence that? >> in regards to him by the post, it seems fairly transparent. there is pending legislation he is concerned with regarding collection of sales tax. amazon is being talked about more and more openly as a monopoly in the wake of the doj decision -- >> the decision being? >> the case mentioned about apple and six major publishers for suppose a price-fixing. what they were trying to do was to find a way from amazon to stop from severe discounting. it will be very handy for him to have a newspaper in washington, d.c. it seems pretty transparent that way. >> how has amazon affected you
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as a publisher at melville house? >> amazon controls the marketplace. my company has existed for the same amount of time as amazon and have watched it happen. from our point of view, we are an activist press but we are also a fairly normal trade are 90% of our digital business, at least 30% of our overall business. do they make you more money? are you selling more books because you have this global marketplace? totalould not say business is up. in fact, in total, it is down. because of their rise and their ruthless tactics, they have put out a business a lot of the retail markets, which is a problem for them as well. there is a phenomenon known as rooming wherehow
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people like to see the product they are buying. concern about them, we are not talking about the business of widgets when you are talking about books and newspapers. you are talking about the culture of ideas, speaking truth to power. 18-yearover its history, have successfully turn the concept of the book into something that has a set the value, no matter what the book is, it is worth $9.99. and this has nothing to do with content. that is a dangerous idea in the marketplace. >> why not make things more affordable? >> we would all say the books are underpriced as it is. it has always been a low-margin
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business. i do not know anybody who got into the book business before amazon to make money. they got into it because they love literature. these people are not fighters. they just want to read. they are not used to these aggressive bottom line guys like jeff bezos, who was a former hedge funder -- manager. it becomes more difficult for people like me to sell books about ideas and art. >> i want to go to this issue of wikileaks. in 2010, the wikileaks website was temporarily shut down when amazon dropped it from its servers after being asked to do so by joe lieberman. people may not realize this, but amazon runs massive global servers that people can pay for. in a post to its twitter
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account, wikileaks said -- last year, wikileaks founder julian assange referred to that when he discussed the impact of credit cards blocking donations to wikileaks. wikileaks had lost 95% of their donations that were attended to be transferred to us over that period. over $15 million. of $50 million is still not nothing, so the organization can continue, but as i said in a press conference, our rifle and natural ability to publish as much as we would like, the
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ability to defend ourselves, has been diminished by the blockade. the united states government has looked into the blockade, in january 2011, and formally found there was no lawful reason to erect a u.s. financial embargo against wikileaks. this has happened here -- came out in the commission documents we published -- is that senator lieberman and congressman peter king pressured at the very least mastercard, perhaps others including visa as well, pressured those organizations to erect an extrajudicial blockade so that they could -- that they could not begin through a formal administrative process. >> bob mcchesney, talk about that and bezos' relationship
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with the cia. we talk about the $600 million cloud deal. forbes also said that the commercial computing company announced it closed a $30 million equity funding round with its primary investors investing on behalf of the cia and other intelligence agencies, hisbezos' expeditions, private investment firm. so far, they had only sold one of their systems to lockheed martin. if you could make sense of all of this, bob mcchesney, from which leaks to the cia. >> when that story broke, i did some research on this and i consult the people that i knew fairly high up in the state department off the record they said they did not have to put pressure on amazon for that to happen. the amazon was more than willing to cooperate. andwas not a difficult sell,
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they led the parade of getting rid of wikileaks, removing it from its servers. the point you're getting at, this all suggests the large internet monopolies, starting with amazon, including apple, google, facebook, microsoft, at&t, verizon, they all have an extraordinary cozy relationship with the national security state of the military, harmonious, mutually beneficial, they interact at the highest level, and we have created this military did so complex of sort. jeff bezos is at the top of that. as president eisenhower said in his farewell address, we need to discuss the military industrial complex, the rating issue of our era. it remains the remaining issue but now it has a digital
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complexion. this is an issue we have to discuss. how much power are in these unaccountable monopolies? you look at obama trying to be on good terms with these companies. now they control the news media directly. the unitedd outside states and america saw another country in this situation, we would not consider it being close to the democratic grid. we should be looking at it with the same lens. >> can you talk about alternative models of news ownership? >> a lesson that is clear from this is we had the illusion that journalism is a commercially viable undertaking for the last 100 years in the u.s., and that is because advertising provided much of the revenues to support journalism. it made it very profitable throughout the 20th-century,
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especially in monopoly markets. now that journalism is going digital, it is turning to start advertising. that support for content will not come back. so we then have to go back to the beginning of the republic. what did we do before there was advertising? what we had to make sure there was a popular press was enormous postal and printing subsidies. those effectively made a newspaper distribution all but free for the papers, nominal. we have to think in those terms. if we look at the most democratic countries in the world, they all spent an inordinate amount of money supporting public media, newspapers and other community .tems independent
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that is a discussion we will need to have in this country, the sooner the better. >> we want to thank you for being with us. an interesting discussion. we encourage people to share it. we want to thank bob mcchesney, .ennis johnson, and jeff cohen this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. speak withe back, we mac mcclelland. she wrote a piece called "i was a warehouse wage slave: my brief, backbreaking, rage- inducing, low-paying, dildo- packing time inside the online- shipping machine."
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. continue to look at the track record of amazon.com, whose owner jeff bezos,
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purchased the washington post. president obama delivered a major speech on jobs at an amazon warehouse in chattanooga, tennessee. obama offered to cut corporate taxes in exchange for creating new jobs. >> here is the bottom line. if the folks in washington really want a grand bargain, how about a grand bargain for middle-class jobs? how about a grand bargain for middle-class jobs? i am willing to work with republicans on reforming our corporate tax code as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating a middle class jobs. president >> obama's comments were part of an effort to take on widening u.s. inequality, but critics say creating more jobs like those at the amazon warehouse where he spoke would do little to achieve the goal. >> for more, we are joined by
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reporter mac mcclelland, who went undercover and was hired by amazon. her article was titled "i was a warehouse wage slave: my brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine "i was a warehouse wage slave: my brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine." tell us, where did you work? record, for legal reasons, i cannot say where i worked. there is a precedent to side with companies in cases where companies to journalists who have gone undercover. "amalgamated its product giant shipping worldwide inc." tell us about the state that you were in, and the state you're in psychologically and physically. was west ofl you i
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the mississippi, in the middle of no place. a lot of these warehouses are in industrial wasteland areas. people commute from nearby cities from all over. the warehouse i was working in had thousands of people in it. since it was the run-up to christmas, they were hiring 4000 additional temporary workers just for the last four months of the year. from the moment i arrived in town, even before i got to the warehouse, i stopped at the local chamber of commerce, and they told me, do not stop crying and do not take what happens to you personally. it is a very ugly scene in their beer there are lots of people who would be willing to take your job because the economy is so bad, so basically put up with what ever they throw at you and leave your dignity at the door. that is what i did and that is what everyone else there did. >> could you talked about what
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prompted you to get this temporary job, had they become interested in conditions in these types of warehouses? >> i had done another story about the death of the middle class in ohio in the run-up to governor kasich's budget cuts that he was doing, so i stopped by a warehouse at one of my ex- girlfriends from college was running. i did not have an agenda. i just want her to look at it, and i was shocked at the conditions. i come from a labor background, worked for years in moving and storage, worked as a mover in warehouses, and i could not believe how tough and dehumanizing and low paying these positions were. my friend, who is a really nice person, was sort of a monster. i was there for 20 minutes and
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she was firing people for going to the bathroom, talking to each other, even though they've worked while they did it, but those were the orders that she had. if she want to keep her job, she had to enforce it. gigantics sector is and continuing to grow, we decided to dedicate a story to it. >> tell us about the plant, your first day, the days beyond that? isbasically, every day running from the moment you get in the door. goals andspecific they are very hard and fast to me. you walk in the door, you grab a hand-held scanner. i was a picker. the person that retrieves the item that you order online. this is hundreds of thousands of square feet of warehouses. absolutely enormous. you have a scanner that tells you where in the warehouse you
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have to go. it tells you how many seconds they want you to take to get there. a barbie will pop up and you have 20 seconds to traverse the grounds. you run to where it is on the shelving, picking through items as fast as you can, you grab the barbie, scan it, and then the next thing pops up, and then you have 15 more seconds. we had men on 10-hour shifts when i was there. there are people walking around telling you how close you are to making your numbers or not making your numbers in a lot of cases. someone comes up to you every couple of hours and says you are making 70% of your goals, so you have to pick it up. so you are counted on your pace. you run back and forth through your lunch room, you have to wait in line to go to the bathroom, eat some food fast,
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and then run back to your station. that is it, over and over again. >> others have reported on the conditions you describe as well. i want to read from a story called "inside amazon's warehouse" that was published by the morning call newspaper. they visited a warehouse where books, cd's and other products were shipped to customers. the article noted --
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the doctor's report was echoed by a security guard who reported seeing pregnant employees suffering in the heat. that is from a 2011 story by the morning call newspaper in allentown, pa.. mac mcclelland, your comments on that? compare that to your own experience in the warehouse you worked in. >> i was working in november, so instead of being hot, it was freezing inside the warehouse i was in. they actually had a fire alarm a few days before i got there and everyone had been evacuated. a stripped down to their t- shirts and tank tops because it was so cold in the warehouse. they just stood in the snow while it was snowing on them as they waited for permission to go
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back inside. they were telling me that i should be grateful and i was not working there in the summer because it was even worse. the warehouse i visited in ohio, that was in june. there were people working in the in thef trucks, standing tractor trailer containers, baking in the parking lot under the sun, four hours and hours. they had a couple of fans. they will not air-conditioned warehouses because it is too expensive, they will not keep them because it is too expensive, and one problem that i was having, it was very dry. with the metal shelving units everywhere, lots of electronics with the conveyor belts, fans, things like that, so there is a buildup of static electricity all the time. i realized, especially when you were assigned to books, with
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paper, is even drier. and when you are running around on the floor, you are gathering of all the static electricity, and then when you grab the metal shelves, it shocks you really hard. one of my co-workers had leaned too close to one of the shelves when he was picking a book, and it shocked him in the forehead and stun him for the second. i think all weather conditions are unpleasant in one form or another in those warehouses. >> your response to president obama speaking at this new plant? we are talking about new jobs. can you hear me?
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it sounds like we lost the ifbline for her to be able to hear that question. you can go to democracynow.org to hear the entire segment. we will also be doing an of public on fcc regs television stations. mac mcclelland is a contributing reporter to mother jones magazine. her contributing story was titled "i was a warehouse wage slave: my brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine." we are going to have to leave it there. we will continue the conversation with her and post online. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. email your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693, new york, ny 10013.
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